The annual Weapons Export Report registered a 23% drop compared with 2017 according to media sources. The government says the decrease is a sign of Germany's "restrictive and responsible weapons export policy."
The German government's 2018 Weapons Export Report, which is expected to be approved by the Cabinet next Wednesday, shows a sharp decline in exports, according to the RND Media Group which announced that it had seen the report on Thursday.
The report states that the German government approved a total of 11,142 weapons export requests, representing some €4.82 billion ($5.44 billion) in sales — a 23% decrease from 2017.
Most exports — 47.2% — went to the EU, NATO and NATO-allied countries (Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Switzerland).
Algeria tops list of third-country buyers
So-called third countries were the recipients of €2.5 billion worth of arms, down from €3.8 billion in 2017. Of those countries, Algeria was the largest customer, purchasing some €818.2 million worth of hardware.
Though arms sales to Saudi Arabia remain highly controversial, in 2018 the kingdom bought some €416.4 million worth of German weaponry, namely patrol boats and artillery positioning radar equipment. Germany currently has an export ban for Saudi Arabia, though there are some exceptions.
Equal opportunity seller
Germany also exported some €365.7 million worth of arms to developing countries. Pakistan led the list of recipients in this category with a total sales volume of €174.4. It was followed by neighboring India with €96.8 million, and Indonesia with €21.2 million.
Request approvals for small arms and small arms parts totaled €38.9 million in 2018, down from €47.8 million in 2017.
The report also documents a total of 88 denied requests, representing a volume of €39.4 million.
Speaking of the report, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said that the government was pursuing, "a restrictive and responsible weapons export policy."